Favre book author encourages people not to read “Gunslinger”

NFL Hall of Fame quarterback Brett Favre
NFL Hall of Fame quarterback Brett Favre(WLBT)
Published: Sep. 15, 2022 at 8:26 AM CDT
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GREEN BAY, Wis. (WBAY) - The author of a book about former Green Bay Packers quarterback Brett Favre is now telling people not to read it.

Jeff Pearlman wrote the New York Times Bestseller “Gunslinger: The Remarkable, Improbable, Iconic Life of Brett Favre.”

Pearlman made his comments after the release of text messages showing Favre’s involvement in a scheme to pay out millions in Mississippi state welfare money to help fund a volleyball facility at his alma mater the University of Southern Mississippi.

It was part of the largest public fraud case in the history of Mississippi. Auditors found nonprofit executives misspent about $77 million meant to help people in need, reports Mississippi Today.

“On the day of extended Favre revelations, I wanna share something: I wrote a biography of the man that was largely glowing. Football heroics, overcoming obstacles, practical joker, etc. Yes, it included his grossness, addictions, treatment of women. But it was fairly positive,” Pearlman tweeted. And, looking at it now, if I’m being brutally honest—I’d advise people not to read it. He’s a bad guy. He doesn’t deserve the icon treatment. He doesn’t deserve acclaim. Image rehabilitation. Warm stories of grid glory. His treatment of @jennifersterger was ... inexcusable.”

“And now—taking money that was designated to help poor people in HIS STATE, and funneling it to build (checks notes) A F---G VOLLEYBALL ARENA (!?!?!?) is so grotesque, so monstrous. I don’t know how someone like that looks in the mirror. I just don’t.”

“So, sincerely, don’t buy the book, don’t take it out from the library. Leave it. There are sooooo many better people worthy of your reading hours. Of your time. I prefer crumbs like Brett Favre shuffle off into the abyss, shamed by greed and selfishness.”

Text messages were released this week as part of a civil lawsuit over the Mississippi welfare scandal. Messages show former Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant was involved in the push to help Favre fund the volleyball facility. Favre’s daughter played volleyball at the University of Southern Mississippi.

CLICK HERE for Mississippi Today’s in-depth reporting on the Favre texts.

Nancy New, the executive director of the nonprofit Mississippi Community Education Center that was responsible for paying millions of federal welfare money, was convicted of 13 felony counts in the scheme. She is now helping prosecutors as part of a plea deal. New says Bryant directed her to make $1.1 million in payments to Favre to go toward the volleyball project. Court records show the nonprofit made two payments of welfare money to Favre Enterprises for $500,000 in December 2017 and $600,000 in June 2018.

New’s son, Zach, also took a plea deal, saying he took part in a scheme “to disguise the USM construction project as a ‘lease’ as a means of circumventing the limited purpose grant’s strict prohibition against ‘brick and mortar’ construction projects in violation of Miss. Code Ann. 97-7-10.” Mississippi Today reports that federal regulations prohibit states from using welfare money for needy families on the construction of buildings.

Former Mississippi Department of Human Services welfare agency director John Davis is facing trial in the scheme.

Neither Bryant nor Favre have been charged.

On Aug. 3, 2017, Favre texted New the following: “If you were to pay me is there any way the media can find out where it came from and how much?”

New said, “No, we never have had that information publicized. I understand you being uneasy about that though. Let’s see what happens on Monday with the conversation with some of the folks at Southern. Maybe it will click with them. Hopefully.”

Favre: “Ok thanks.”

On Aug. 4, 2017, New texted Favre: “Wow, just got off the phone with Phil Bryant! He is on board with us! We will get this done!”

Favre: “Awesome I needed to hear that for sure.”

Favre’s attorney has denied that his client knew the money was from the welfare fund.